A Comptroller and Auditor General report on Tuesday flagged off an irregularity involving the appointment of Suresh Kalmadi as head of the Games Organising Committee (OC). Kalmadi is now in jail in connection with various Commonwealth Games scams.
According to The Times of India, CAG has noted that a decision was taken in October 2004 to make the Sports Minister as head of the OC, with Kalmadi as his deputy. But this decision was subsequently reversed by altering the minutes of an Empowered Group of Ministers (EGOM), of which the PM was a member.
When he discovered the changes, former Sports Minister Sunil Dutt sent a very passionate letter to the PM on 14 November 2004, asking how he could change a decision that he himself was a part of. According to sources in the PM’s Office, the PM may not be involved in it, but he knew about this decision.
The CAG report sent PMO officials scurrying to dig out the old records, only to discover that what the CAG said was right.
Who altered the minutes? Who could change the minutes involving a PM without Singh himself objecting to it?
Speculation is rife that a key aide of the Congress high command might have had a role to play in making last-minute changes to the minutes of the EGOM meeting. Others believe that the altered minutes could have been prompted by those who benefited from Kalmadi’s actions. Among those who benefited from it was Emaar MGF, which was awarded the job of constructing the Commonwealth village on the banks of the Yamuna. Kalmadi favoured four foreign consortia, which were awarded overlay contracts at inflated rates.
In the absence of any denial to the CAG report, the PMO sent Sports Minister Ajay Maken to douse the fire in Parliament. He gave it a political colour by arguing that the BJP should check its own records, because in 2003 they were the ones who, along with Kalmadi, won the bid for holding the Commonwealth games in 2010.
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Updated Date: Aug 02, 2011 21:06:51 IST